SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders are back in the win column, putting a halt to their two-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory Sunday night over the Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field.
Marco Pappa scored a goal off a deflection in the 69th minute, Gonzalo Pineda followed with a penalty kick in the 74th and Seattle (13-6-2) managed to hang on despite a late red card for star forward Obafemi Martins.
With the win, Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid's 200th career MLS win, the Western Conference pace setters regain the lead in the Supporters' Shield race with 41 points from 21 games. Houston are back to their losing ways following last weekend’s win over D.C. United, which broke an eight-game winless streak, and drop to ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points from 22 games.
Houston (6-12-4) had a golden opportunity to grab an early lead and the momentum in the 26th minute after a laser shot from midfielder Boniek Garcia caught Seattle defender Djimi Traore on the arm inside the Sounders’ box, giving the Dynamo a penalty kick. But Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei made a huge diving save, denying Brad Davis’ stutter-step attempt to keep the game scoreless.
Houston had another golden opportunity in the 33rd minute after midfielder Ricardo Clark had a look at a header right in front of the Seattle goal off a corner kick, but his attempt sailed just high.
The second half remained scoreless until the Sounders finally broke through in the 69th minute after Pappa used a nifty spin move to give himself room just outside the Houston penalty box. The Guatemalan’s subsequent shot deflected off Houston defender David Horst, sending ‘keeper Tally Hall in the wrong direction and allowing the ball into the Dynamo net, giving Seattle the 1-0 lead.
Seattle extended the lead just moments later in the 75th minute after Clark was called for a foul for pulling down Martins in the box, giving the Sounders a penalty of kick of their own. Hall guessed correctly on Pineda’s attempt to blast his shot up the middle, but the ball deflected under his gloves and into the net again.
The 2-0 score would ultimately hold, but Seattle were dealt a big blow in the 86th minute after Martins was issued a second yellow card for a hard tackle. He will now have to sit out Seattle’s game Saturday against Real Salt Lake.
Houston are back at it Friday night when they play host to the Philadelphia Union.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Marco Pappa||The Guatemalan deservedly broke the stalemate with one of his three shots on the night|
|2||Stefan Frei||Had Houston's early PK gone in, the night could have gone an entirely different way|
|3||Brad Davis||As usual, his service was spot on all night; there was just nobody up for a finish|